Unite Policy Conference 2021 – day five

Below is an update on Friday’s business – the final day of #UPC2021. Conference discussed the Executive Council report and Unite’s accounts, plus motions on Pensions & Retirement, Political & Labour Party, Union Administration & Membership Services. Key conference documents and updates from previous days were posted previously (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday).

Executive Report & Accounts

They were endorsed.

Pensions & Retirement

Emergency Motion #1 State Pension – Triple Lock (text below) – agreed

Composite 12 (motions 88+A, 89) State Pension – agreed

Motion 86 State Pension – agreed

Motion 85 State Pension – agreed

Composite 13 (motions 91, 128) Dignity for Older People – agreed

Motion 87 Pension Protection Fund – agreed

Motion 90+A National Pensioners’ Convention – agreed

Motion 132 Retirement & Pensions Education – agreed

Motion 133 Retirement & Pensions Education – agreed

Political & Labour Party

Composite 14 (motions 92, 93, 95) Preferential Voting – agreed
This was a contested debate, but the Composite, opposing First Past The Post, passed by about 2 to 1.

Composite 15 (motions 96, 97) Clause IV – agreed

Union Administration & Membership Services

Motion 142 Branch ICT – remitted

Motion 143 Trade Union Councils – agreed

Motion 131 Transport from Heathrow – agreed

Emergency Motion #3 Housekeeping and Hospitality and Unite’s use of hotels (see below for text) – agreed


Emergency Motion #1: State Pension – Triple Lock

Introduced in 2011 by the coalition government, the triple lock guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is largest.

Despite  a clear manifesto commitment from the Tories to honour the Pension Triple Lock, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has now stated that the triple lock will not the honoured this year and that changes will be made to how pension increases will be calculated.  

The excuses and rational for reneging on the manifesto commitment, is the anticipated rise in average earnings as worker move form furlough to full wages. The Bank of England estimates this will equate to an 8% rise in average earnings. 

Already the rhetoric of unfairness is in the media and it’s that unfairness card that the Tories will play to justify breaking away from the Pension Triple Lock manifesto commitment. It feeds into the already false narrative that pensioners in the UK are well off and are better off at the expense of tax payers and to the detriment of the younger generation.

This unfairness narrative fuels division and allows the government to abdicate responsibility for delivering for all sectors, whether young or old, working or not working. The reality is that compared with many of our pensioner counterparts in Europe, our pension level is low and many pensioners in the UK live in poverty. Since the pension triple lock was introduced in 2012, the highest rise has been 5% with most annual increases being around 2.5%. Conference calls on the Executive Council to mount a vigorous campaign to protect the Pension Triple Lock and ensure that it is restored at the earliest opportunity and to work alongside the NPC, SPF (Scottish Pensioners Forum), TUC, Labour Party and to mobilise support for the campaign across all sectors of the union.


Emergency Motion #3: Housekeeping and Hospitality and Unite’s use of hotels

Conference notes that hotels used by delegates during Policy Conference have a policy of not offering daily housekeeping, guests are required to opt in.

Conference calls on the Executive Council to ensure that all future block bookings made for Unite will require the hotel to provide daily housekeeping.

Conference also demands that housekeeping is provided on a daily basis at all Unite hospitality premises.

Conference calls on Unite to campaign against this threat to hotel housekeepers’ livelihoods and occupational health and safety by:

  • informing sister organisations of this threat to hotel housekeepers’ livelihoods and asking them to adopt policies of requiring hotels they use for events to provide daily housekeeping
  • raising public awareness, scientific evidence shows that cleaning hotel rooms yields similar public health benefits as cleaning other parts of the hotel
  • campaigning for decent working conditions and collective agreements in hospitality.

Unite Policy Conference 2021 – day four

Below is an update on Thursday’s business. #UPC2021 finished off the motions on Rights for Workers and their Unions and debated motions on Social Action and Organising, Global Solidarity, International & Europe, and heard from Frances O’Grady – TUC General Secretary and Tom Conway – President of the United Steel Workers. See previous posts for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. These posts also include links to key documents including the text of motions.

Rights for Workers and their Unions

Motion 104 – ILO convention on violence and harassment – agreed

Motion 105 – The Surveillance Society – agreed

Motion 106+A – The Surveillance Society – agreed

Social Action

Composite 18 (motions 111+A, 113+A) National Health Service – agreed

Motion 110 National Health Service – agreed

Motion 112 National Health Service – agreed

Motion 119 National Health Service – agreed

Composite 19 (motions 117, 118) Local Authority Cuts – agreed

Motion 114 Local Authority Cuts – agreed

Motion 115 Local Authority Cuts – agreed

Motion 116 Local Authority Cuts – agreed

Motion 120+A Public Services – agreed

Motion 121 End Unfair Evictions – agreed

Motion 122+A Accessible Welfare – agreed

Motion 123 Digitisation and Welfare – agreed

Motion 124 Digitisation and Welfare – agreed

Motion 126 Care Homes – agreed

Motion 127 Care Homes – agreed

Motion 125 Unfair Overdraft Charges – agreed

Motion 129 Power of Attorney – agreed

Emergency Motion 2 Campaign against cuts to face to face debt advice services (see below for text) – agreed

Organising

Composite 11 (motions 79, 80, 81) Precarious Workers – agreed

Motion 137 Precarious Workers – agreed

Motion 83 Organising Young Workers – agreed

Motion 136 National Youth Co-ordinator – agreed

Motion 78 Organising in Hospitality and Tourism – agreed

Global Solidarity, International & Europe

Motion 43 Brexit & Ireland – agreed

Motion 44 Brexit & Gibraltar – agreed

Composite 6 (motions 45, 46) The Post Brexit World – agreed

Composite 7 (motions 47, 48) The Post Brexit World – agreed

Composite 8 (motions 50, 51) The Post Brexit World – agreed

Motion 49 The Post Brexit World – remitted

Motion 107 The Post Brexit World – agreed

Motion 108 The Post Brexit World – agreed

Motion 52 Black Lives Matter – agreed

Motion 53 India & Kashmir – agreed

Motion 54+A Palestine – agreed

Motion 55 IHRA – fell

Motion 57 Latin America – agreed

Motion 58 Latin America – agreed

Motion 59 Turkey/Kurds – agreed


Emergency Motion 2 Campaign against cuts to face to face debt advice services

Conference notes that the Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) funds much of the debt advice provision across England. The recommissioning process for contracts beginning April 2022 closed on 15th October, and has already led to proposed job cuts across the sector.

Conference further notes the new contracts will result in 50-60% cuts to face-to-face community-based debt advice at a time when demand for debt advice will increase sharply due to the cuts to Universal Credit, increasing energy bills and National Insurance.

Conference believes that debt advisers are already facing higher demand and having to deal with more complex cases than ever before. A workforce of well qualified, highly specialised, dedicated para-legal professionals is already overwhelmed and demoralised by the current MaPS contract which focuses on high volume targets and intensive quality assurance that combine to leave insufficient time for advisers to deal with complex cases.

Conference further believes that debt is not just a symptom of individual financial difficulty, it is also a symptom of systematic failure. It is a failure to redesign the ways in which our economy and wider society works to free people from poverty and isolation and give everyone a decent life. Problem debt needs to be part of wider conversations about the rising living costs that people are facing; the expansion of unstable or poorly paid work and declining social security protections

Conference welcomes the new Unite Debt Advice Network (UDAN) has been formed, connecting debt advisers across the country to campaign on national threats to pay and conditions.

Conference calls on the Executive to organise a high profile campaign to demand the following:

  1. suspend all recommissioning for at least 12 months to allow independent research into future demand
  2. Immediate suspension of the bureaucratic quality-monitoring process (‘DAPA’)
  3. support the work of Unite’s Debt Advice Network campaign to oppose the MaPS recommissioning 
  4. use all Unite media and social media platforms to explain the recommissioning process and the impact this will have on debt advice services
  5. campaign for increased funding for face-to-face community-based debt advice , not cut, in any resumed recommissioning​
  6. ensure future decisions by MaPS about debt advice jobs and services include consultation with Unite.

Unite Policy Conference 2021 – day three

Photo of Jayne Taylor, Tony Woodhouse, Len McCluskey, Sharon Graham and Susan Mathews together

Below is an update on Wednesday’s business. #UPC2021 finished off the remaining motions on Covid-19 and the Coronavirus Crisis then debated Equalities, heard from Andy McDonald MP – the former Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights – about his resignation from the front bench and the fight against Fire & Rehire, said farewell to Len McCluskey – who gave an emotional speech, and debated Rights for Workers and their Unions, and Pensions & Retirement. See previous posts for Monday and Tuesday.

Covid-19 and the Coronavirus Crisis

Motion 154 Covid-19, Cash and Bank Branches – agreed

Motion 161 Care in the Community – agreed

Equalities

Composite 5 (motions 39, 40, 41) Migrant Workers – agreed

Motion 38 Migrant Workers – agreed

Motion 42 Migrant Workers – agreed

Motion 22 Unite and Equalities – agreed

Motion 23 + A1 + A2 Unite and Equalities – agreed

Motion 24 + A Equality Reps – agreed

Motion 25 Paternity Leave – agreed

Motion 26 Domestic Abuse – agreed

Motion 27 Unite Women’s Network – agreed

Motion 28 Abortion Rights – agreed

Motion 135 BAEM Employment with Unite – agreed

Motion 82 Growing Unite and BAEM members – agreed

Motion 29 Independent Living – agreed

Motion 30 Jobs for those with Disabilities/Scotland – agreed

Motion 31 Disabled People / Buses – agreed

Motion 32 TUC Disability Passport – agreed

Motion 33 Social Model of Disability – agreed

Motion 34 Disability Related Absence – agreed

Motion 35 Commercialisation of Pride – agreed

Motion 36 LGBT+ Sexual Harassment – agreed

Motion 37 LGBT+ Education – agreed

Rights for Workers and their Unions

Composite 16 (motions 99, 100, 101) Anti-union laws – agreed

Motion 98 + A1 + A2 Anti-union laws – agreed

Motion 102 Agency Worker Regulations – agreed

Election results

The following were elected as the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for the 7th Policy Conference (2023): Lorraine M (East Midlands), Frances H (Ireland), James M (London & Eastern), John K (North East, Yorkshire & Humber), Trevor V (North West), Isabella S (Scotland), Naomi G (South East), Tracy D (South West), Lisa H (Wales) and Vanessa W (West Midlands).

The following were elected as the Appeals Committee 2021-3: Dean C (East Midlands), Keith R (Ireland), Kingsley A (London & Eastern), Angela M (North East, Yorkshire & Humber), Pat C (North West), John G (Scotland), Gaynor W (South East), Caroline B (South West), Ivan M (Wales) and Caroline F (West Midlands).

Unite Policy Conference – day two

Tuesday of UPC2021 was dominated by a presentation and Q&A session with Sharon Graham, the new General Secretary. Conference also discussed motions on Economy & Industry, and Covid-19 and the Coronavirus crisis. Most of the key documents were published here. The texts of Composite motions are here and the accounts are here.

Sharon Graham’s presentation

There’s a copy of Sharon Graham’s presentation here.

Economy & Industry

Motion 16 Working Time – agreed

Motion 17 Modern Industrial Nation – agreed

Motion 18+A Trade Union Facility Time – agreed

Motion 19 Employment Charter – agreed

(Amendment fell – no mover)

Motion 20 Road from Casualisation – agreed

Motion 21 Fair Tips – agreed

Covid-19 and the Coronavirus crisis

Motion 145 A New Deal in the Post Covid World – agreed

Motion 150 A New Deal in the Post Covid World – agreed

Motion 151 A New Deal in the Post Covid World – remitted

Motion 152 A New Deal in the Post Covid World – agreed

Composite 21 (motions 146, 147) Organising Post Covid – agreed

Motion 162 Organising Post Covid – agreed

Composite 22 (motions 147, 153, 155) Covid-19 Sick Pay and Support – agreed

Composite 23 (motions 149, 156) Covid-19 and Mental Health – agreed

Composite 24 (motions 157, 158, 159) Covid-19 and Equalities – agreed

Motion 160 Covid-19 and Equalities – agreed

Motion 144 New Ways of Communicating / Meeting – agreed

Unite Policy Conference 2021 – day one

Unite’s Policy Conference, delayed from 2020, got underway yesterday. We previously shared the key conference documents and the leaflet Unite Rank & File supporters are distributing at conference. On day one, the conference debated the Green Industrial Revolution, Improving Health and Safety and some of the motions on Economy and Industry.

Green Industrial Revolution

Composite 9 Climate Change and Just Transition (motions 60, 61, 62+A, 65, 68, 71, 74) – agreed

Composite 10 Climate Emergency (motions 64, 66, 69, 70+A73),  – agreed

Unite Rank & File supporters campaigned to support Composite 10 on the Climate Emergency which included commitments to support climate strikes and to mobilise for the protests around COP26.

Motion 63 Balanced Energy Policy – agreed

Motion 67 Fuel Poverty – agreed

Motion 141 Greening Unite – agreed

Improving Health and Safety

Motion 75 Mental Health – agreed

Motion 134 Mental Health / Reps’ Training – agreed

Economy and Industry

Composite 1 Manufacturing Matters (motions 1, 2+A, 3, 4, 5, 6) – agreed

Motion 7 Manufacturing Matters – agreed

Composite 2 Collective Bargaining (motions 8+A1+A2+A3, M9) – agreed

Composite 3 Automation & Digitisation (motions 10, 11, 12, 13+A) – agreed

Composite 4 Apprenticeships & Skills (motions 14, 15) – agreed

Leaflet for 6th Unite Policy Conference 2021

This weekend delegates from across the UK, Ireland and Gibraltar will gather in Liverpool for Unite’s 6th Policy Conference. The final agenda suggests there should be some lively and important debates.

Unite Rank and File has produced a leaflet highlighting some of the key issues. If you’re at conference, please help distribute it

 

Unite membership figures by sector December 2020

Unite membership figures from the Unite Executive Council’s report, December 2020

Automotive Industries 72,453
Aerospace & Shipbuilding 63,238
Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Process and Textiles 43,134
Civil Air Transport 65,892
Community Youth workers and not for profit 42,985
Docks, Rail, Ferries & Waterways 17,228
Education 17,335
Energy and Utilities 32,485
Engineering, Manufacturing and Steel 57,753
Finance and Legal 61,559
Food Drink and Agriculture 63,589
Government, Defence, Prisons & Contractors 10,751
Graphical Paper and Media & Information Technology 36,810
Health 88,770
Local Authorities 61,783
Passenger Transport 76,861
Road Transport Commercial, Logistics and Retail Distribution 62,619
Service Industries 50,564
Unite Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians 68,083
Community 14,971
Unknown 6,668
Retired 65,503

Total 1,081,034

Unite 6th Policy Conference October 2021 documents

Unite 6th Policy Conference takes place in Liverpool from Monday 18th October 2021 to Friday 22nd October 2021 Agenda and other key documents below

Unite 6th Policy Conference Final Agenda ( excluding emergency motions )

COMPLETE UNITE 6th Policy Conference FINAL AGENDA Standing Orders Report Policy Conference 2021 STANDING ORDERS REPORT Policy Conf 2021 Unite Executive Council Report to 6th Policy Conference Unite Executive Council Report to 6th Policy Con 2021 Unite Implementation Report 6th Policy Conference 2021 COMPLETE Unite Implementation Report 6th Policy Conference 2021

What kind of Unite do we want?

We are holding our next Unite Rank and File open meeting, What kind of Unite do we want? on Sunday 1st August 2021 from 4pm to 6pm

Speakers from Unite Rank and File, Go North West and NHS Workers Say No!

The meeting will take place via Zoom

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsc-muqD0jHNJ4z8uhHtvW1Gvdp6COzqlV 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please feel free to share the registration link with other Unite members who might be interested

Facebook event here with the Zoom registration link to share with your networks

https://fb.me/e/4erfSNft0

We look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday 1st August!

Unite structures and participation

Guide to Unite structures and participation here

 

Unite structures and participation (July 2021)